Workplace risk is an important issue that every employer needs to tackle, not just because it’s your responsibility to keep your employees safe, but also to comply with local, state, and/or federal safety regulations. An effective risk management process can help mitigate the risks, and using an integrated risk management solution can make it easier to mitigate hazards and ultimately keep your workplace safe.
But regulatory compliance is a larger issue that needs to be tackled to avoid penalties. GRC, a corporate framework that takes a unified approach towards managing the governance, risk management, and compliance of the organization, is becoming popular among companies. A sound GRC program serves as an integrated strategy to improve performance and revenue while avoiding hazards that can set you back.
Of course, implementing such a unified approach can get complicated. The best way to simplify GRC management is by utilizing GRC tools. These tools allow you to efficiently govern your business, manage risks effectively, and meet compliance requirements.
In this article, we’ll go over everything you need to know about GRC tools, including the benefits of using them, features you should look for, and a list of the top GRC solutions available in the market.
The Top 5 GRC Tools Available in the Market
Find the right GRC tool with this list of the top five solutions on the market. These software solutions for GRC were chosen based on the key features, user experience, customizability, automation capabilities, and customer support offered.
Pulpstream’s platform is flexible, scalable, highly configurable, and user friendly, making it the best of all the GRC platforms discussed here. Its no-code automation capabilities allow you to customize the platform according to your unique needs, and the intuitive, customizable dashboard enables you to optimize your data visualization as per your requirements.
Common features like external and internal audit management, incident management, and compliance management are, of course, included on this platform. But the features that make Pulpstream top notch include:
- AI-enabled tools that take uploaded data from different sources and in various formats, and convert it all into actionable data points that aid decision-making
- Portals that facilitate communication with stakeholders and other employees, task assignment, follow-ups, and milestone tracking
- Predictive risk analytics and advanced reporting tools that can help you find patterns in your risk and compliance data
- Secure data storage from any device as well as offline access to the platform (automatically syncing to cloud when online) to enable usage from remote areas
- Action trigger functions based on configurable rules such as specific contexts or timers
- No-code customization capabilities that allow even users with no technical experience to easily use the features
Pulpstream’s pricing is available on request. Meanwhile, you can request a free demo to understand if the platform is the right fit for you.
2. ServiceNow GRC
ServiceNow offers a powerful cloud-based GRC tool that provides a unified data environment and allows for effective communication with stakeholders with its easy-access tools such as mobile apps, portals, and online chat.
In addition to common features like internal and vendor risk management, policy and compliance management, and audit management, ServiceNow has the following features:
- Business continuity management
- Operational risk management and resilience
- Continuous monitoring of regulation change with real-time alerts, allowing you to make relevant changes to remain compliant
- Manual as well as automated tools for risk assessment
- A unified data environment with mobile apps, portals, and chat features, allowing for easy access to data for all employees
- Predictive intelligence to make your risk analytics more effective
- Dynamic dashboards and easy-to-understand reporting features
- Customizable performance analytics
- Tracking tools that enable real-time visibility into everyday operations
One con of this platform is that its reporting tool lacks a lot of advanced features and can only help with basic data visualization.
ServiceNow’s pricing details are not available on the website, but you can request a custom quote as well as a free demo on their website.
3. SAI Global Compliance 360
SAI Global’s SAI360 is a comprehensive system for all cloud-based risk management processes, not just GRC. It delivers an enhanced, intuitive user experience with robust risk intelligence reports. And it offers three different editions to suit a range of needs, making it a good fit for everyone, from small businesses who need just the basics to large enterprises who require major functionalities.
In addition to compliance management, audit management, risk assessment, vendor risk management, and others, here are a few features that make SAI360 stand out from the crowd:
- Easy management of compliance education via regular company-wide training and educational materials
- Monitoring of third-party access to the system
- Automation of critical workflow steps such as access permissions to control system access
- High customizability
- IT risk and cybersecurity management
- Environment, health, and safety management
- Business continuity management
The only problem with SAI’s GRC solution is that the user interface is cluttered, making it complex to navigate. Users may have to go through multiple steps to complete tasks that should only take one or two clicks.
As with most other GRC software, you can request pricing for SAI360, or use their free demo to get a feel for the tool.
StandardFusion is a comprehensive GRC system made up of six highly configurable core solutions — Compliance, Risk, Audit, Vendor, Policy, and Incident. It is an SaaS solution with centralized data that makes it accessible to users across all compliance programs. They also offer in-person training and technical support to help you make the best possible use of the solution.
StandardFusion’s modules allow for efficient management of all aspects of GRC. But these are the features that make it popular among users:
- A straightforward, intuitive, and simple but powerful user interface that allows you to navigate features with just a few clicks
- In-depth product training and user guides to bring people with limited technical knowledge up to speed
- Assessment and tracking of likelihood and impact of individual risks and mitigating actions
- Automated report generator to help visualize the data
- A single set of common controls to ensure compliance across multiple frameworks
- Multiple existing integrations such as Jira, Confluence, DUO, Google Authenticator, Slack, etc.
- Sophisticated auditing capabilities for internal as well as external audits
- Guided standards implementation: the system can be customized to fit a variety of data protection standards such as GDPR, ISO, SOC2, CCPA, HIPAA, FedRAMP, and more
- Support through dedicated success managers
- Automated risk analysis based on the standard required, automatically suggesting aspects that need tightening up
Another aspect that makes StandardFusion unique is the fact that its pricing structure is transparent. Although expensive, the pricing terms carry no surprises or hidden costs, and all plans grant full access to the platform. The pricing starts at $1,250 for 3 users per month and is available for a 14-day free trial.
5. IBM OpenPages
Built with integration of Watson, IBM’s AI engine, OpenPages provides core services that span operational risk management, policy and compliance, financial controls management, IT governance, and audit management. It is especially strong in financial data oversight.
In addition to its unique financial controls, IT governance, and regulatory initiatives, here are some standout features of IBM OpenPages:
- Continuous system monitoring and risk assessment using IBM’s AI integration
- Log management
- Internal auditing
- Adapts recommendations to comply with specific standards
- Hosted on the cloud, saving server space
One downside, though, is that it can be a bit slow in its implementation. You’ll require patience while using its risk assessment, issue creation and logging, and workflow automation features.
IBM OpenPages has flexible, affordable pricing that makes it ideal for smaller teams with low budgets. It costs from $272 per user per year and has a free demo as well. You can also get a free 30-day trial with Watson’s Regulatory Compliance Management System.
Why Use GRC Tools
So what do GRC tools do for your business in the first place? Effective GRC software comes with several benefits for your organization. With the right GRC tools in place, you can streamline your integrated governance, risk management and compliance processes and keep your business safe as well as compliant with ever-changing regulations. Here are some benefits of using a solid GRC platform:
- It enables you to unify your enterprise risk management as well as compliance strategy across your organization and break down independent silos that can make you vulnerable to risks.
- It allows for quicker and more data-driven decision-making that can improve the business in terms of both safety and compliance.
- It allows you to make your audit cycles more efficient and thus reduce compliance costs as all the important operational,
- Importantly, GRC tools can detect security and compliance risks and allow you to correct them before they lead to incidents.
- It can especially benefit larger companies as well as those in highly regulated industries such as financial services (where data protection and information security are vital), transportation, and manufacturing.
8 Features to Look for While Choosing a GRC Tool
With so many cloud-based solutions coming up in the market, finding the right GRC software for you can be a challenge. But you can keep in mind a number of features that every good GRC solution must have, to help make your selection easier. In addition to encompassing operational risk management, IT governance, and compliance and safety policy management, effective GRC tools need to have the following features.
1. Content and Document Management
The GRC software should allow users to create, track, and store information of different types, such as documents, pictures and videos (useful during incident management and inspections), forms, etc. as every function within GRC comes with documentation.
2. Audit Management
Audits are an important part of compliance management, so any GRC tool needs to have an audit management capability. This feature would enable easy conduction of internal audits, third-party risk assessments, and other auditing functions.
3. Risk Analytics and Reporting
The GRC software should have sophisticated (ideally AI-powered) risk analytics capabilities, analyzing hazard information to measure, quantify, and predict risks and ultimately help with mitigation. It should also allow easy, real-time data reporting and visualization and enable users to export the information into popular file types.
4. Compliance Management
The GRC solution should monitor compliance efforts and regularly check for gaps between your policies and compliance requirements. Additionally, it should provide real-time alerts when regulations change so that you can change your policies and procedures accordingly.
5. Centralized Dashboard
Every GRC platform should have a central dashboard where you can view key performance indicators for your business processes and objectives. You should be able to customize this dashboard to show real-time metrics, project management data, and any other information that is relevant to your business operations.
6. Workflow Management
The platform should enable you to create, execute, and monitor all GRC-related workflows in a single user interface without requiring any coding.
7. High Security
Your GRC platform would enable you to manage all your organization’s vulnerabilities as well as compliance efforts from a single place. This comes with the downside that if the GRC solution is compromised, all your company’s weaknesses can be exploited easily. So your GRC tool should avoid any security risks with features such as encryption and user access management to protect against data breaches.
8. Mobile Access
Finally, some of the processes involved in risk management such as safety inspections, incident investigation, etc. happen on worksites where inspectors are unlikely to have access to computer systems. So, to enable compliance efforts and risk management on the go, the GRC platform should support all devices.
Unify Your Risk and Compliance Management With GRC Tools
Governance, risk management, and compliance, or GRC, is becoming increasingly popular across all industries. However, unifying everything manually is not easy, even for small businesses.
But with software solutions becoming available at more affordable prices, it’s possible for small and large businesses to use online tools to manage their GRC. The sheer variety available on the market can make it difficult to choose. So, make sure to do your research into the features you require while keeping your budget in mind. You can use this article and the list of GRC tools we’ve given as a starting point in your search.
If you’re looking at wider digital transformation or business process automation, you can also check out this guide.